Cancer is a dreaded word.
No other illness has been talked as much as Cancer.
Often we come across statements that the Cancer causing agent/Carcinogens have been identified, cell Biology unearthed and a medication/vaccine is under way.
But till date I am yet to find any one who is completely cured of cancer.
The recovery stories often tell us how one fought cancer for a few years and it strikes again.
Cancer is unregulated proliferation of Cells , not obeying any known Laws of Biology.
As one who had to bear with the processes of detecting and treating Cancer for my closest relative, I was constantly interacting with the Physician(Oncology) and Surgeon-Oncology of a reputed Multi speciality Hospital.
The process of diagnosis is mostly by elimination and depends very much on the correct course of series of Tests to be undertaken.
If you are lucky, you will be following the correct series of tests , other wise your investigation process will be delayed.
Now, coming to treatment as such, the Doctors have these options.
1.Treatment through Drugs-Chemotherapy.
This process has side effects and there is no guarantee that the Cancer will be arrested.
Maximum exposure is 4 -5 times.
While undergoing Chemotherapy,one loses hair and has other side effects like fever .
This is also unproven as Chemotherapy.
It is painful and has side effects.
Doctors will tell you it is painless.
I have seen people screaming.
Next is Surgery.
Here the removal of the part afflicted is believed to remove Cancer.
But the rider is Cancer may surface in any other part of the Body.
Taking all these facts together. I feel that Cancer is dealt best if no treatment is taken.
I recently read an article about how to respond when someone tells you he has cancer.
The gist of the article was simple. Be a good listener. Be supportive. Don’t give advice.
I’ve been on both sides of the “I have cancer” conversation. And I would agree with all three of those guidelines.
But that third one can be tough. You want to help. And you may actually have good advice. But new cancer patients are overwhelmed with advice. So it’s usually best to hold off.
And yet, today I’m going to offer some advice to Warren Buffett.
Warren, you really need to get a second opinion. And don’t worry about the money. Your insurance company should cover it.
You may have heard that multi-billionaire Warren Buffett has prostate cancer. That’s the bad news.
As for good news, there’s a lot, actually.
Buffett’s cancer is stage one — the two words you most want to hear when diagnosed with cancer.
His doctors have also determined that his cancer hasn’t spread, and he’s otherwise in very good health. In addition, most prostate cancers are slow growing. So Buffett, who’s 81, is very unlikely to die of this disease.
In a public statement, Buffett said his “condition is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way.”
Clearly, his cancer will probably have very little impact on his wellbeing (or on his ability to run Berkshire Hathaway…which is the underlying question no reporters are really asking).
I wish I could say the same about his treatment. In mid-July, Buffett plans to begin two months of radiation therapy, five days each week.
Now, every cancer case is different. And only Buffett’s doctors know the complete details about his condition. But given what we do know, it strikes me as sheer madness for him to undergo any radiation at all. Much less two months of it!
The day Buffett announced he had cancer, I saw a CNN report that included several commentators chatting about Buffett’s options. One of them described “watchful waiting” as the “crazy” option.
Watchful waiting is the opposite of crazy. It’s prudent and protects patients. It requires regular testing, so it’s not a walk in the park. But watchful waiting is almost always the best option for a man of Buffett’s age with stage one prostate cancer.
The truly crazy option is a long round of radiation. It’s like hunting a housefly with a cannon.
Potential side effects of prostate radiation include fatigue, with a risk of urinary and bowel problems. And you never know how radiation will affect a patient. Those “problems” could easily become severe.
One radiation oncologist told the Associated Press that undergoing radiation is like kindergarten — “The hardest part is showing up.”
That’s outrageous! Showing up is the EASIEST part. Coping with urinary and bowel problems is unquestionably the hardest part — especially for a man in his 80s.
I hope someone will get through to Buffett and explain the wisdom of watching and waiting. But more importantly, if he does choose radiation, I hope other men his age will not follow his lead.
Let’s call it the Brand New Buffett Rule: Watch. Wait. Don’t radiate.